The devotion to the Mother of Sorrows (Mater Dolorosa in Latin) goes back to antiquity.
The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Mother (Virgin Mary) is a devotion which goes back to the early Middle Ages. The Servite Order (Servants of Mary) promoted it in Monte Senario, Italy, as soon as the community was founded in 1233.
Chaplets (which look like rosaries but have seven sets of seven beads each instead of five sets of ten beads) are used to help Catholics meditate on the seven sorrows Our Lady endured.
They begin with the Prophecy of Simeon in the Gospel of Luke when the old man predicted that “a sword shall pierce your heart,” and continue with the escape of baby Jesus, Mary, and Joseph fleeing into Egypt to escape the deadly clutches of Herod; they go on to the three days Christ was thought lost at the age of twelve (a mother’s nightmare, then and now, not knowing if he was kidnapped, sick, injured, or dead) and continue with Jesus’ crucifixion, death, and burial (the worst day for a mother—the burial of her only child).
The Prophecy of Simeon (Luke 2:25–35) The Flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:13–21)
Jesus is Lost in the Temple for Three Days (Luke 2:41–50)
Jesus meets his sorrowful mother on the way to Calvary (Luke 23: 27–29)
Mary at the foot of the Cross witnesses the Crucifixion and Death of Jesus (John 19:25–30)
The dead body of Jesus is taken down from the Cross and placed in the arms of His sorrowful mother (John 19:39–40)
The burial of Jesus by His sorrowful mother (Luke 23:50–56)
The Seven Joys of the Blessed Mother are also known as the Franciscan Crown or Seraphic Rosary. It is a devotion that recalls seven joyful events in the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary (in contrast to the previous Seven Sorrows). Franciscans in the fifteenth century during the era of Saint Bernardino of Siena (1380–1444) promoted this throughout Italy. Like the rosary, this chaplet has ten Hail Mary’s in each set, but like the chaplet of Seven Sorrows, there are seven sets rather than five.
The Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary (Luke 1: 26–33, 38)
The Visitation of the Virgin Mary to her cousin, Saint Elizabeth (Luke 1:39–45) The Birth of Jesus (Luke 2:6–12)
The Adoration of the Magi (Matthew 2:1–2, 10–11) Jesus is Found in the Temple (Luke 2:41–50)
The Resurrection of Christ from the grave (Mark 16:1–7)
The Assumption of the Blessed Mother (Virgin Mary) into Heaven, and her Coronation as Queen of Heaven and Earth (Luke 1:48; Revelation 12:1)